Other Muslims Kaffir?
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Other Muslims Kaffir?

In today’s day and age, many non Ahmadi Muslims have the habit of going around and calling other Muslims disbelievers. They also raise many allegations on the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat and claim that we also call all Muslims disbelievers. This is not true. Firstly, we have to see the definitions of a Muslim according to the Prophet Muhammad (saw). The Holy Prophet (saw) has given us three definitions.

The first definition given by the Holy Prophetsaw is understood by the following hadith:

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يُوسُفَ، حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، عَنِ الأَعْمَشِ، عَنْ أَبِي وَائِلٍ، عَنْ حُذَيْفَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ اكْتُبُوا لِي مَنْ تَلَفَّظَ بِالإِسْلاَمِ مِنَ النَّاسِ ‏”‏‏.‏ فَكَتَبْنَا لَهُ أَلْفًا وَخَمْسَمِائَةِ رَجُلٍ، فَقُلْنَا نَخَافُ وَنَحْنُ أَلْفٌ وَخَمْسُمِائَةٍ فَلَقَدْ رَأَيْتُنَا ابْتُلِينَا حَتَّى إِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيُصَلِّي وَحْدَهُ وَهْوَ خَائِفٌ‏.‏

Narrated Hudhaifa: The Prophet (ﷺ) said (to us), ” List the names of those people who have announced that they are Muslims.”So, we listed one thousand and five hundred men. Then we wondered, “Should we be afraid (of infidels) although we are one thousand and five hundred in number?” No doubt, we witnessed ourselves being afflicted with such bad trials that one would have to offer the prayer alone in fear. (Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith #3060)

The second definition by the Holy Prophetsaw in regards to who is a Muslim is also really clear. It is more detailed and yet simple, leaving no confusion. The Holy Prophetsaw stated:

حَدَّثَنَا عَمْرُو بْنُ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ الْمَهْدِيِّ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا مَنْصُورُ بْنُ سَعْدٍ، عَنْ مَيْمُونِ بْنِ سِيَاهٍ، عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ مَنْ صَلَّى صَلاَتَنَا، وَاسْتَقْبَلَ قِبْلَتَنَا، وَأَكَلَ ذَبِيحَتَنَا، فَذَلِكَ الْمُسْلِمُ الَّذِي لَهُ ذِمَّةُ اللَّهِ وَذِمَّةُ رَسُولِهِ، فَلاَ تُخْفِرُوا اللَّهَ فِي ذِمَّتِهِ ‏”‏‏.‏

Narrated Anas bin Malik:

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Whoever prays like us and faces our Qibla and eats our slaughtered animals is a Muslim and is under Allah’s and His Apostle’s protection. So do not betray Allah by betraying those who are in His protection.” (Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith #391)

Now the basis of the third definition of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsaw is from the following hadith:

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو خَالِدٍ الأَحْمَرُ، ح وَحَدَّثَنَا أَبُو كُرَيْبٍ، وَإِسْحَاقُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، عَنْ أَبِي مُعَاوِيَةَ، كِلاَهُمَا عَنِ الأَعْمَشِ، عَنْ أَبِي ظِبْيَانَ، عَنْ أُسَامَةَ بْنِ زَيْدٍ، وَهَذَا، حَدِيثُ ابْنِ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ قَالَ بَعَثَنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي سَرِيَّةٍ فَصَبَّحْنَا الْحُرَقَاتِ مِنْ جُهَيْنَةَ فَأَدْرَكْتُ رَجُلاً فَقَالَ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ ‏.‏ فَطَعَنْتُهُ فَوَقَعَ فِي نَفْسِي مِنْ ذَلِكَ فَذَكَرْتُهُ لِلنَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ أَقَالَ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَقَتَلْتَهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّمَا قَالَهَا خَوْفًا مِنَ السِّلاَحِ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ أَفَلاَ شَقَقْتَ عَنْ قَلْبِهِ حَتَّى تَعْلَمَ أَقَالَهَا أَمْ لاَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَمَازَالَ يُكَرِّرُهَا عَلَىَّ حَتَّى تَمَنَّيْتُ أَنِّي أَسْلَمْتُ يَوْمَئِذٍ ‏

It is narrated on the authority of Usama b. Zaid that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) sent us in a raiding party. We raided Huraqat of Juhaina in the morning. I caught hold of a man and he said:

There is no god but Allah, I attacked him with a spear. It once occurred to me and I talked about it to the Apostle (ﷺ). The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Did he profess” There is no god but Allah,” and even then you killed him? I said: Messenger of Allah, he made a profession of it out of the fear of the weapon. He (the Holy Prophet) observed: Did you tear his heart in order to find out whether it had professed or not? And he went on repeating it to me till I wished I had embraced Islam that day (Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Hadith #183, Many versions)

These are the definitions of a Muslim. Ahmadi Muslims fulfill not one, but all three definitions. It is interesting to note that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) has never ever called anyone a kaffir. We only find one instance where he hints towards who is a kaffir. He stated:

إِذَا قَالَ الرَّجُلُ لأَخِيهِ يَا كَافِرُ فَقَدْ بَاءَ بِهِ أَحَدُهُمَا

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “If a man says to his brother, O Kafir (disbeliever)!’ Then surely one of them is such (i.e., a Kafir). “(Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith 6103)

Now that we have understood the view of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) and Islam we will turn to the writings of Hadhrat Ahmad(as) to understand his view. Firstly, we have never called any Muslim who denies Hadhrat Ahmad(as) an infidel or a disbeliever in Islam. Hadhrat Ahmad(as) was not only a mujadid, rather a Nabi and Rasul. He has for example stated in Khutba Ilhamia, that the person whom he conveys his message, he should yield faith, and not become a kafir, not become a disbeliever.

There is kufr of two kinds. The first is refusing to accept a Prophet who brings a shariah. Rejecting a ummati nabi stands on a different level. The Holy Prophet(sa) brought a shariah and denying him, directly makes one a kafir, in the sense of a non Muslim. However, if someone accepts the Prophet Muhammad (saw), but rejects the Promised Messiah(as), his kufr would not turn him into a non Muslim. They would be a kafir of an ummati nabi. Being a part of the ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (saw), he would be called a Muslim, but he would turn into a kafir when he declines to accept the Promised Messiah(as). Denial of the Messiah is not kufr directly, it is kufr indirectly in the same way his Prophethood is indirectly.

I now turn to the beautiful writings of Hadhrat Ahmad(as) which make the issue clear. He (as) states:

Hadhrat Ahmad(as) stated:

” These people first prepared a fatwa of kufr against me and nearly 200 maulvis put their seal upon it, calling me a kafir. In these fatwas, such hostility was shown that some Ulama even wrote that these people are worse in disbelief than the Jews and the Christians. They broadcast these fatwas saying that these people must not be buried in Muslim cemeteries nor saluted with salaam and greetings, and that it is not proper to say prayers behind them because they are kafirs nor must they be allowed to enter mosques because they would pollute them but if they did enter the mosques, then these must be washed. They stated that it is allowable to steal their property and they may also be killed because they reject the impending advent of the bloody Mahdi and deny Jihad”(Haqiqat-ul-Wahi, Pages 119-129, Ruhani Khazain, Volume 22 Pages 122-123)

“Moreover look at their lie that they accuse me of declaring 200,000,000 Muslims, who recite the Kalimah [the declaration of faith in Islam], as kafirs, whereas we did not take any initiative in this matter. Their scholars issued edicts of apostasy against us on their own and caused a furore in the Punjab and India that these people [Ahmadis] are kafirs. Because of these edicts, the ignorant people began to hate us to such an extent that they started considering it sinful to even address us politely. Can any maulawi, or any other opponent, or any custodian of a shrine prove that we were the first to issue edicts of apostasy against them? Let them produce any document, announcement, or treatise published by me prior to their own edicts of apostasy against us, in which I had pronounced my Muslim antagonists to be kafirs; otherwise, they should consider how dishonest it is, that they are the ones who declared us to be kafirs, but accuse us of denouncing all Muslims as kafirs. Any reasonable person can understand how hurtful such dishonesty, falsehood, and obfuscation of the facts can be. Now that they have declared us to be kafirs through their edicts, and are themselves agreed that if any person declares a Muslim to be a kafir, then this [false charge of ] kufr reverts to him, was it not our right to call them kafir in accordance with their own admission?” (Haqiqatul Wahi)

Of course, since the Shariah is based on what is overt, we cannot declare one who himself rejects the message to be a believer, nor can we say that he is exempt from accountability. Someone who repudiates is indeed called kafir (disbeliever); because the word ‘kafir’ is opposite to ‘mu’min’ [believer]. (Haqiqatul Wahi)

“One kind of kufr is that a man does not at all believe in Islam, and he does not accept the Holy Prophet Mohammad as an Apostle of God.”

“The second kind of kufr is, for instance, that he does not believe in the Promised Messiah… Even after the whole case has been fully and duly put before him, he declines to believe in one, whose truth has been supported by the Holy Prophet, with great emphasis and insistence, and whose truth, moreover, is found to have been confirmed by the Scriptures of the earlier Prophets: Therefore, since he rejects the decision of the Apostle of God, and of Allah Himself, he becomes a kafir . (Referring to the hadith quoted above) When you look deeply at this question, the two kinds of kufr are found to be one and the same thing. There is really no room for doubt that in the eyes of the Lord, where the case has been fully and duly put before, a kafir of the first or the second kind, on the Day of the Qiyama, he will be held culpable. And. where, in the eyes of the Lord, the case has not yet come to be duly and fully stated, and the man is a mokazzib, or munkir, though the Sharia, based as it is on the exterior, also would pronounce that he is a kafir ; and we too shall hold he is a kafir . But in the eyes of the Lord, under His law that He does not burden anyone beyond capacity, the man in question will not be held culpable. All the same, it would not be for us to issue a decree for his release and salvation. His would be a matter strictly between himself and his Maker, wherein we have no standing, whatsoever.” (Haqiqatul Wahi, pages 179-180)

This long and detailed passage itself explains that there are two types of kufr. The first kufr would be rejecting Islam and the Holy Prophet Muhammadsaw and therefore leaving Islam. The non Ahmadi Muslims are not committing kufr in this sense as they claim to be Muslims and recite the kalima and do not reject the Prophet Muhammadsaw. The Promised Messiahas also made a clear difference between the types of kufr for a reason.

These sayings themselves explain our view on the non Ahmadi Muslms. The ones who reject the Promised Messiah are Muslims but not true believers. Allah States in the Qur’an:

قَالَتِ الْأَعْرَابُ آمَنَّا ۖ قُلْ لَمْ تُؤْمِنُوا وَلَٰكِنْ قُولُوا أَسْلَمْنَا وَلَمَّا يَدْخُلِ الْإِيمَانُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ ۖ وَإِنْ تُطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ لَا يَلِتْكُمْ مِنْ أَعْمَالِكُمْ شَيْئًا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ {15}

The Arabs of the desert say, ‘We believe.’ Say, “You have not believed yet; but rather say, ‘We have accepted Islam,’ for the true belief has not yet entered into your hearts.” But if you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not detract anything from your deeds Surely, Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.(Chapter 49 Verse 15)

A hadith relating to the same ayah which is mentioned states:

أَخْبَرَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الأَعْلَى، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدٌ، – وَهُوَ ابْنُ ثَوْرٍ – قَالَ مَعْمَرٌ وَأَخْبَرَنِي الزُّهْرِيُّ، عَنْ عَامِرِ بْنِ سَعْدِ بْنِ أَبِي وَقَّاصٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، قَالَ أَعْطَى النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم رِجَالاً وَلَمْ يُعْطِ رَجُلاً مِنْهُمْ شَيْئًا قَالَ سَعْدٌ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَعْطَيْتَ فُلاَنًا وَفُلاَنًا وَلَمْ تُعْطِ فُلاَنًا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ أَوْ مُسْلِمٌ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ حَتَّى أَعَادَهَا سَعْدٌ ثَلاَثًا وَالنَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏”‏ أَوْ مُسْلِمٌ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ إِنِّي لأُعْطِي رِجَالاً وَأَدَعُ مَنْ هُوَ أَحَبُّ إِلَىَّ مِنْهُمْ لاَ أُعْطِيهِ شَيْئًا مَخَافَةَ أَنْ يُكَبُّوا فِي النَّارِ عَلَى وُجُوهِهِمْ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

It was narrated from ‘Amir bin Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas that his father said:“The Prophetsaw gave a share (of some spoils of war) to some men and not to others. Sa’d said: ‘O Messenger of Allahsaw , you gave to so-and-so and so-and-so, but you did not give anything to so-and-so, and he is a believer.’ The Prophetsaw said: ‘Or a Muslim,’ until Sa’d had repeated it three times, and the Prophetsaw said: ‘I give to some men, and leave those who are dearer to me, without giving them anything, lest (the former) be thrown into Hell on their faces.’”(Sunan An Nasai, Volume 6, Book 47, Hadith #4995)

The Holy Prophetsaw has also beautifully explained similar, of a person being a disbeliever within Islam in the following hadith:

حَدَّثَنَا آدَمُ، حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ، عَنِ الأَعْمَشِ، عَنْ ذَكْوَانَ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ لاَ يَزْنِي الزَّانِي حِينَ يَزْنِي وَهْوَ مُؤْمِنٌ، وَلاَ يَسْرِقُ حِينَ يَسْرِقُ وَهْوَ مُؤْمِنٌ، وَلاَ يَشْرَبُ حِينَ يَشْرَبُهَا وَهْوَ مُؤْمِنٌ، وَالتَّوْبَةُ مَعْرُوضَةٌ بَعْدُ ‏”‏‏.‏

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The one who commits an illegal sexual intercourse is not a believer at the time of committing illegal sexual intercourse and a thief is not a believer at the time of committing theft and a drinker of alcoholic drink is not a believer at the time of drinking. Yet, (the gate of) repentance is open thereafter.” (Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith #6810)

So from the very beginning, the weak Muslims were referred to as disbelievers. However, this did not take their right away of calling themselves Muslims. In the same way the non Ahmadi Muslims are called disbelievers, despite being Muslim as well.

Hadhrat Ahmad(as) states:

O ye who so eagerly declare me a kafir! Your own house lies in ruins, yet you fret about others!

You may call me a kafir for there is nothing new in this denunciation; It is an age-old tradition still being practiced


Your Exalted Holiness has written at thousands of places that it is not legitimate in any way to declare anyone who recites the Kalimah [the declaration of faith in Islam] and faces towards the Qiblah, as disbeliever. This clearly shows that except for the ‘believers’ who turn disbeliever by pronouncing you to be a disbeliever, a simple failure to believe in you does not make one a disbeliever. But to ‘Abdul-Hakim Khan you have written that everyone who comes to know of your claim and fails to accept you, is not a Muslim. There is a contradiction between this statement and the statements recorded in your earlier books. That is, you have written earlier in Tiryaqul-Qulub and elsewhere that failure to believe in you does not turn one into a disbeliever, but now you write that disbelief in you makes one a disbeliever.


It is strange that you consider the one who pronounces me to be a disbeliever and the one who does not believe in me, as two different kinds of persons; whereas, in the estimation of God, there is only one kind; for, one who does not believe in me, does so for this very reason that he considers me to be an impostor. But Allah the Exalted says that one who forges a lie against God is the greatest disbeliever from among the disbelievers, as He says:

فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا أَوْ كَذَّبَ بِآيَاتِهِ

Chapter 7 Verse 38

Meaning that, there are only two kinds of arch-disbeliever, one who forges lies against God, and the other who denies the Word of God. In the opinion of one who rejects me I have forged lies about God; and, if so, I become not only a disbeliever but an arch-disbeliever. But if I am not an imposter, then, without any doubt, his disbelief shall recoil upon him as promised in this verse by God Almighty Himself.

Besides this, one who does not accept me, does not accept God and His Messenger either, because the prophecy of God and His Messenger about me is on record. That is, the Prophet of God, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, had prophesied that the Promised Messiah shall come from amongst his ummah in the Latter Days. The Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, also said that on the night of mi‘raj [ascension] he saw Masih Ibn-e-Maryam among those Prophets who had passed away from this world and that he saw him in the second Heaven with Hadrat Yahya the martyr [ John the Baptist]. Furthermore, God Almighty has stated in the Holy Quran that the Masih Ibn-e-Maryam had died. And, to bear witness to my truth, God manifested more than 300,000 heavenly Signs and the solar and lunar eclipses took place in the heavens in the month of Ramadan. Then how can such a person be a believer who does not believe what God and His Messenger say, who repudiates the Holy Quran, who deliberately rejects the Signs of God Almighty, and declares me an impostor despite hundreds of Signs? And if he is a believer, I would be deemed a disbeliever on account of my fabrication; for, to him, I am an imposter. Allah says in the Holy Quran:

قَالَتِ الْأَعْرَابُ آمَنَّا ۖ قُلْ لَمْ تُؤْمِنُوا وَلَٰكِنْ قُولُوا أَسْلَمْنَا وَلَمَّا يَدْخُلِ الْإِيمَانُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ {15}

The Arabs of the desert say, ‘We believe.’ Say, “You have not believed yet; but rather say, ‘We have accepted Islam,’ for the true belief has not yet entered into your hearts.” But if you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not detract anything from your deeds Surely, Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.(Chapter 49 Verse 15)

Therefore, when God does not call those who have submitted as ‘believers’, how can those people—who blatantly reject the Word of God and do not desist from repudiating me despite witnessing thousands of Signs manifested by God Almighty upon the earth and in the heavens—be believers in the estimation of God? They themselves aver that if I am not an impostor but am a believer, then, in that case, they have themselves become disbelievers after declaring me a liar and a disbeliever. Thus, after pronouncing me a disbeliever, they have set the seal on their own disbelief. It is the dictum of the Shariah that the one who pronounces a believer to be a disbeliever, he himself becomes a disbeliever in the end.

Now that 200 clerics have pronounced me a disbeliever, and an edict was also issued imputing disbelief to me, and it is also evident from their own edict that one who declares a believer to be a disbeliever, himself becomes disbeliever and the one who declares a disbeliever to be a believer becomes a disbeliever, too. Now, therefore, the situation can easily be remedied, provided they possess a grain of honesty and faith and are not hypocrites. They should publish a detailed proclamation concerning these clerics, mentioning each one of them by name, to the effect that all of them are disbelievers because they are guilty of pronouncing a believer to be a disbeliever. Then I shall consider them to be believers provided they do not retain any vestige of hypocrisy and do not deny manifestly visible divine miracles;

The position of Hadhrat Ahmad(as) is therefore seen from different angles. One view is that Ahmad(as) is the one who is prophesied about, that he would come and be a Prophet of Allah. If he is a Prophet, than you have to accept him as it is a article of faith. Allah States:

آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ رَبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ ۚ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِنْ رُسُلِهِ ۚ وَقَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا ۖ غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ {286}

This Messenger of Ours believes in that which has been revealed to him from his Lord, and so do the believers: all of them believe in Allah, and in His angels, and in His Books, and in His Messengers, saying, ‘We make no distinction between any of His Messengers;’ and they say, ‘We hear, and we obey. We implore Thy forgiveness, O our Lord, and to Thee is the returning.’ (Chapter 2 Verse 286)

According to the Qur’an, it’s clear that one has to accept all Prophets. If the one who was to come is a Nabi and a rasul and the Prophet Muhammad (saw) gave him these titles, then what would one not accepting him be? Who is one who accepts a Nabi and who is one who rejects a Nabi? All non Ahmadi Muslims know that the Qur’an only gives us three groups. The ones who accept, the ones who reject and the hypocrites. When Allah says you have to accept all Prophets and not make any distinction in regards to their acceptance, then what would one who rejects the Messiah be? Putting Hadhrat Ahmad(as) aside, we ask the anti Ahmadi Muslims what they would call us if we reject the Messiah and Mahdi when he comes?

Now what is the difference? If a person is Muslim and he doesn’t accept the Messiah, then what is his position? From all sources, if we turn to the Prophet Muhammad (saw) we only see the three definitions of a Muslim as stated above. If someone falls under these they cannot be called a kaffir. Hadhrat Ahmad(as) also stated that we do not call anyone who recites the kalima a kaffir rather he himself becomes a kaffir because of the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (saw). It was the Prophet Muhammad (sa) who said that if a person calls a Muslim a kaffir, then the kufr goes back to him.

Everything the Promised Messiah(as) said was in light of this hadith In the beautiful book Haqiqatul Wahi, Hadhrat Ahmad(as) challenged that is there any maulvi who can show that we called them kaffir first? He explained that you call us kuffar first, and then blame me. Whoever calls a Muslim a kaffir, the kufr goes back to him. When they called Hadhrat Ahmad(as) a disbeliever, they themselves became disbelievers.

Hadhrat Ahmad(as) said that we do not take anyone out of Islam, until he calls us kaffir and becomes a kaffir himself. Hadhrat Ahmad(as) states:

“I announce it plainly that it is not a trivial matter to denounce me. He who calls me a kafir will have to become a kafir first. He who describes me as faithless and misguided will have to confess his own error and humiliation. He who charges me with departing from the Qur’an and Hadith will have first departed from them himself, for I affirm the truthfulness of the Qur’an and Hadith and am in turn affirmed by them. I am not misguided but am the Mahdi [Guided One]. I am not a kafir but I am the foremost of believers. God has revealed to me that whatever I say is the truth. Whoever has faith in God and believes in the truth of the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Prophetsaw, it should be enough for him to listen to me in silence. But what remedy is there for him who is impertinent and disrespectful! God Himself will admonish him. I, therefore, desire that for the sake of God you should reflect upon this matter and should advise your friends not to hasten to deny me but reflect honestly and impartially.” (Malfuzat, Volume 4, Page 16)

The fatwas of the non Ahmadi Muslims themselves say that one who rejects the Mahdi is not a true believer. We have the support of the Prophet Muhammad (saw). It is narrated that the Prophet (sa) said:

من أنكر خروج المهدي فقد كفر بما أنزل على محمد

Whoever rejects the appearance of the Mahdi, verily he has rejected everything revealed upon the Prophet Muhammad

We have concluded from the writings of Hadhrat Ahmad(as) and now turn to the writings of Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad(ra). To understand his view, one writing is not enough.

He stated:

“We believe that the term Kafir applies to a person after he has passed beyond a prescribed limit.  When a person takes Islam as his religion and accepts the Quranic injunctions and teachings as his guide of action, he is entitled to be called a Muslim.  But if he denies a basic principle of the faith of Islam then although he may be called a Muslim yet in reality he is not so.  We do not therefore take Kafir to mean that such a person denies the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).  Who can say to a person who says that he believes in the Holy Prophet that in reality he has no such faith?  Nor do we take this term to mean the denial of the existence of God.  One who says that he has belief in God, who can dare say that he has none?  According to our definition of Kufr the denial of a fundamental doctrine of Islam renders a person Kafir.  On the other hand only belief in all the essentials of Islam can make a person a true Muslim in the real sense of the word.” (April 26, 1935, pg.14)

The question arises as to why some Muslims have been called non Muslims. We must understand that there are two categories of non Muslims. Those who are outwardly non Muslims, which includes innocent disbelievers. Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad(ra) states:

“Those who do not accept a prophet, even if it is only because they have never heard his name, they are referred to as disbelievers, although in the sight of God they are not deserving of punishment because their disbelief was not because of any fault of theirs.”

(Ainae Sadaqat, pg 31)

Secondly, those who are Muslims on the outside, but are not true Muslims on the inside. Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad(ra) explained the different stages of the word Muslim and used Mufradat, which is a famous dictionary, to explain this.

Mufradat-i-Raghib on page 240, where Islam has been shown to be of two kinds: one lower than the stage of Iman; the other above the stage of Iman. In Dunal Iman, in the stage of lower than common Iman, are included people whose Islam remains at a level lower than a proper Iman, and in the stage of higher than the common Iman are Muslims who stand at a level of distinction in their faith, higher than the common level.”

(Truth Prevails, pg 154)

So there are two stages of Muslims. The Dunal Imam which is lower than faith, and fauqal iman, which is higher than faith. Those who are Muslims in Dunal Iman are not true Muslims in Fauqal Iman. They are referred to non Muslims in this context but are never deprived of their rights to calling themselves Muslims.

An example of this is,  the Holy Prophet (sa) said, “Where a man sallies forth to give support to an unjust person, knowing that he is unjust, the supporter thereby throws himself outside the bounds of Islam.”

(Mishkat, Kitab-ul-Adab, Bab-uz-Zulm, vol 2 pg 555)

Hadhrat Ahmad(as) stated:

“Now let it be quite clear that these days the doctrine of some believers in the unity of God, that in species of birds, some are the creation of the Lord God, and some of Hazrat Isa, is entirely misleading and idolatrous. The person who holds this view, without any doubt, is outside the pale of Islam.”

(Ruhani Khazain, vol 3, pg 252)

There are many different stages of Islam. For example Hadhrat Ibrahim(as) is mentioned in the Qur’an and is asked to Submit. Allah States in the Qur’an: “When his Lord said to him, “Submit” he said “I have submitted to the Lord of the worlds” (2:132). Now this was the highest stage of submission. The Holy Qur’an also gives us a much lower stage of faith in Chapter 49 Verse 15. So in short, a person may be called a non Muslim by one stage and a Muslim by another stage.

Furthermore,  when it is said to a human being that “you are not a human being”, it is not literal. Rather it means that they lack the qualities and characteristics of being a human being and are at a lower standard than others. In the same way, to be a Muslim of a high standard, it is a must to accept Hadhrat Ahmad(as). Therefore, when “non Muslims” is used , it is used in the same sense of saying “you are not a human being” to one who is a human being but has immortal qualities.

This is how the term Muslim has been used since the very beginning but never were people infringed of their rights of calling themselves Muslims like the anti Ahmadis do to the Ahmadi Muslims. They declare Ahmadi Muslims to be disbelievers even in Dunal Iman which they have no right to do.

There is a great difference between us and them when it comes to takfir. When we are asked if the non Ahmadi Muslims can call themselves Muslims, we say that they have every right to and they should do so. This is in line with the Qur’an and sunnah as the Prophet(sa) gave even the hypocrites the right to identify as Muslims. However, when non Ahmadi Muslims are asked if Ahmadi Muslims can call themselves Muslims, they say they are not allowed and should be persecuted and infringed of their rights.

In 1953, the Promised Son was asked whether a person can be considered a Muslim if he has rejected the Promised Messiah and he himself stated “Yes indeed, in common terms, he will still be considered a Muslim”

Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad(ra) states :

“Moreover there is a great deal of difference between our definition of kufr and theirs. They understand by kufr to mean the denial of Islam, which is the meaning we do not ascribe to this term when using it about the non Ahmadis. Our view is that if a person conforms to the tenets and teaching of Islam to a given extent, he is entitled to be called a Muslim. But when he falls below even that point, then although he may be called a Muslim, he cannot be regarded as a perfect Muslim.”(Political Solidarity of Islam, Page 9)

He further states:

“It is being emphasized nowadays that the Ahmadis call non-Ahmadis Kafirs. If this allegation is honestly made, then let the Ahrars come forward and prove that it is we that took the offensive in this respect. The fact is that it is they that began the battle and they were the first to call us Kafirs. They are morally bound to find out who threw down the challenge and took the initiative in issuing Fatwas of Kufr. Even now they are daily saying and writing in their newspapers .that Ahmadis are Kajirs. Can they prove that any Ahmadi newspaper has been guilty of thus calling the Ahrars Kafirs? He who calls another person a Kafir without rhyme or reason hurts his feelings and provokes a quarrel. We never do that. It is only when we are asked by a person as .to what we think of him and we are compelled to give an answer that we say we take him to be a Kafir in the sense in which this term has been explained above.”(Political Solidarity of Islam, Page 10)


” When a person takes Islam as his religion and accepts the Quranic injunctions and teachings as his guide of action, he is entitled to be called a Muslim. But if he denies a basic principle of the faith of Islam then although he may be called a Muslim yet in reality he is not so. We do not therefore take Kafir to mean that such a person denies the Holy Prophet Muhammad {peace be upon him). Who can say to a person who says that be believes in the Holy Prophet that in reality he has no such faith ? Nor do we take this term to mean the denial of the existence of God. One who says that he has belief in God, who can dare say that he has none? According to our definition of Kufr the denial of a fundamental doctrine of Islam renders a person Kafir. On the other hand only belief in all the essentials of lslam can make a person a true Muslim in the real sense of the word. But we do not at all regard a Kafir to be foredoomed to hell. A Kafir according to our belief could go to heaven. We will call a person Kafir who, for instance, has throughout his .life remained unacquainted with Islam, but God will not send him to hell on that account only because through no fault of his he did not come to know of Islam and God is not so cruel as to punish an ignorant person. So when we use the term Kufr we use it in the above sense only. But we never go about calling a person Kafir. It is only when we are compelled in answer to the enquiry of a person to say what we think of him. that we have to give expression to our belief. But with the definition of Kufr as given by the non Ahmadis as our basis of judgment we would not regard as Kafirs even the Hindus, the Jews, the Christians or the other non-Muslim communities, because we believe that there exists no such community whose every member is foredoomed to everlasting hell.” (Political Solidarity of Islam, Page 12)

Whenever we use the term outside the fold of Islam, we only mean the fold of the true Islam rather than the Islam which the Prophet(saw) said all are included in, as long as they profess that they are Muslims.

Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad(rh) has explained the categories of Muslims as well and that no one has the right to negate our claim of being Muslims. This is well documented in the debate of 1974.

Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad(rh)  has also beautifully explained this. He (rh) explained that all of the Muslims say the Messiah will come and Mahdi will come and that the Messiah will be a prophet. There is a different in identity rather than belief. The Muslim scholars accept that the Messiah will come as a Nabi. They also say the Mahdi will be appointed by God. When they are asked can those who reject him be a Muslim, they say no. However, we are saved from this. If anyone becomes a non Muslim its them and we have the references of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) to support us.

Holy Prophet(saw) said if someone calls a Muslim a disbeliever, he becomes a disbeliever himself. The ulama accept this hadith as authentic. Hadhrat Ahmad (as) made it clear that It’s hard for me to call one who recites the kalima a kaffir but I tell you the hadith and if you do not stop, then I cannot give any fatwa apart from the fatwa of Holy Prophet(sa). After 12 years of being declared a kaffir, when they continued, only then did Hadhrat Ahmad(as) give them the fatwa.  Hadhrat Ahmad(as) explained that if you call me a kaffir, then according to the Prophet (saw), you yourself become a kaffir.

Secondly, there is an important hadith that the Muslims would become like the Jews and split in 73 sects. Maulvi Abdul Wahhab sahib tried using this hadith for his truthfulness. He said that the Holy Prophet(saw) said that the 73rd sect would be saved. He stated that my firqa is that 73rd sect which the Prophet (saw) was speaking about. Now why do they let the 72 sects do Hajj and only take us out? Is it not astonishing? The Prophet(sa) said 72 hell abound but these ulama have only excluded one group from everything and that is us, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya.

Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) has also said the exact same in many of his sermons and explained that we do not take anyone’s rights of calling themselves Muslims.

Some raise the allegation on Hadhrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (rh) for calling the Muslims veritable kuffar and outside the pale of Islam but in reality he is only speaking of Chapter 4 verse 150 and 151 rather than declaring someone non Muslim. He is asking the Muslims their own view of one who rejects the mahdi. (

Now people need to realize the takfir we are against. Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad (rh) stated:

“You see first of all, let me clarify, that I have no objection against anybody calling anybody  non Muslim, considering him to be a non Muslim. Because if I take that right from him or her, it would be interfering with his fundamental human right. If somebody is brought up in a manner of religious training, where he thinks that there are certain fundamentals to that religion, which if missing, in another person follower of another sect, would give him the message that because that fundamental is not present in his concept of Allah and Rasul, so he cannot be genuinely defined as Muslim. Can it happen or not? It can happen genuinely. So how can one take the right away from everybody, that even if he considers somebody to be not genuine Muslim, he should, for the sake of unity go on calling him a genuine Muslim. It’s not right. The objectionable point is a completely different thing from this. If you consider somebody to be a Muslim, you have a right to consider him as non Muslim, but you have no right to force him to call himself a non Muslim. Because, the same principle of fundamental human rights would be violated then. Christians have been calling others as non Christians but they have never, never in history, snatched the right from each other, to still continue to call themselves Christians. What is happening in Pakistan is the most distorted thing in religious history. They consider us to be non Muslims, Ahmadis, while they have been considering each other non Muslims for the last 1300 years, at least 100 years after, or even before Hadhrat Muhammad (sa), I mean, closer to him than 1300 years, there are sects in Islam who have been considering others non Muslims but a such, they continue to disagree with each other, never they imposed this compulsion on any sect, they considered non Muslim, as not to behave like a Muslim, not to act as a Muslim, not to call themselves as Muslims, and not to do anything by way of Muslim worship, which would make them appear like Muslims. This never happened in any religion in the world before, and even in Islam, before the time of these recent decisions of government of Pakistan viz a vis Ahmadiyyat. Now what they are doing is this, we are a majority, a political majority, and democratically we have a right to vote you down, to consider you anything and this is democratic right of the people so it’s not a question of interference in religion ,this is a question of only an exercise of a democratic right. This is what the ambassador of Pakistan here wrote in answer to a letter of protest by a British MP as to why these things are happening to Ahmadiyyat and the same answer was given in Canada and other places in the world. So it was a well, you know, tailored answer, supplied to all of the ambassadors.  But if you study it further, there is no iota of wisdom in that answer. The fact is that first of all, democracy is democracy and religion is religion. And never the twain shall meet and when they do they create disorder. This is supported by the world history. As long as they remain separate, there is peace. When religion and democracy or politics join hands, they create havoc for the peace of mankind because the politician can of course be cruel to their own people but in their own name. But when cruelties are perpetrated against others in the name of God, then human beings begin to play god, and they have the support of a political system behind them. Then what happens, a Khomeni is born, a Zia is born, and inquisition begins to take root in Spain and so and so forth. This is a murderous mistake. And in this respect. politics must be kept aloof and separate from religious domain and they should not interfere with each other.

“For instance, they have declared us to be non Muslims. Okay. Can a democracy declare somebody to be a dog? A human being to be a dog? They say yes why not? We have the right, we have a majority. Alright, you declare a human being to be a dog but can democracy force that human dog to bark? How can they teach that human being to act like a dog and behave like a dog and the moment they start that human being behaves like a human being, he is penalized, he is punished because he has broken the democratic law. Is there any wisdom in that? This is exactly what is taking place against Ahmadiyyat. They say we have a human right, rather a democratic right, to consider yourself to be outside the pale of Islam. We say yet we have the same democratic right to consider ourselves within the pale of Islam. That is the stale mate, no more. You call us non Muslims, we call ourselves Muslims, that’s all. When you declare something against a minority, political party, you cannot force that political party to agree with you and start acting like you believe they are. Only, the democratic majority has a right to legislate as they please but they cannot change the nature of the political parties who are in a position.

For instance, if there is, consider labor party for instance and there is a majority government of conservatives. If they declare that we democratically think that you are not labor, you are a communist party, what can that poor minority do in a democratic state? They say all right, do whatever you please but this is nonsense. They will say, no it is not just nonsense, we are going to legislate now. That if any labor, member of labor party, acts like a member of labor party from now on, he will be punishable to three years rigorous  imprisonment. From now on because we consider him to be a member of communist party, every member of the labor party must start acting as a communist. Can this happen in democracy? This is what is happening in the so called Pakistani democracy. They declare Ahmadis to be Non Muslims and they want us to act as non Muslims. You see that will not happen. Do whatever you may, you can call us dogs, whatever name you give us, alright we will tolerate that. But if you expect us to behave like you think we are, that is not going to happen. This is the problem which is now being dealt forcibly by the enforcement of laws and penal codes etc against Ahmadis. Thousands of Ahmadis are facing charges, which may lead to their imprisonment to three years, rigorous imprisonment, or more, or may lead to their condemnation to death because the law now interprets the legislation against Ahmadis in the sense that if an Ahmadi declares ‘lā ilāha illā -llāh, muḥammadur rasūlu -llāh which means there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet, according to the justice, the chief justice of high court of Pakistan, if an Ahmadi says that, it must be taken as an insult to the Holy Prophet of Islam.And as such, he must be condemned to death. These statements are published statements, they are public knowledge now. No country in the west raised their little fingers against this. But when the death penalty hung over two Christian boys, then the entire world conscience was aroused. And right from Europe to America to Canada, the publicity was given to this and they said, they immediately, you know,  offered them asylums and they were removed from their country under influence, American influence etc and they are still at it. The two boys, Christian boys, against whom the same law created the threat of death, they have been noticed by the west , but Ahmadis who are treated in large numbers like this. they are completely ignored. So that is the unfortunate situation in the world…” (Question and Answer Session, 21 May 1995, Part 2,)